7. 'Good Times'
If you wanted your own spin-off, it helped to be the hired help on a sitcom: Florida Evans started out as the maid on Maude before the character was relocated from New York to Chicago and she became the matriarch of one of TV's great working-class families. The show was blessed with the grooviest Seventies theme song this side of Sanford and Son, the benefit of a young, fresh-faced Janet Jackson adding cachet to the later seasons and J.J. Walker's ability to turn "Dy-no-MITE!" into a national catchphrase. Long before Roseanne gave primetime viewers a look at blue-collar America, Norman Lear's comedy showed what life was like living one paycheck at a time, and whether the series was going for laughs or tackling social ills (as in the infamous child abuse episode), it gave you sense that you could make it through temporary lay-offs and easy credit rip-offs so long as you had each other. Ain't we lucky we had it. DF